Along Life's Road

Non-favorable situations pave the way to joyful eventualities

When the famine had spread over the whole country, Joseph opened all the storehouses and sold grain to the Egyptians, for the famine was severe throughout Egypt. And all the world came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph, because the famine was severe everywhere. – Genesis 41:56-57

In 2019 when the world was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, it was beyond our wildest dream or imagination that it would be followed by what is turning out to be a severe shortage of food, scarcity of oil/gas and extremely high and rising costs on goods and services!

In 2019, who would have ever thought of the invasion of Russia on Ukraine, which in reality has opened the gate of sorrow, grief, utter destruction on property and grain necessary for man’s survival. But the Bible, though scorned by many and considered as a nonsense book, is proving daily in our lives that, “As it was in the beginning, so shall it be in the end.”

Our lesson text today comes from the ever familiar and popular story of not only the old, but the very young – of the story of Joseph and the hatred shown to him by his brothers. It is a story of intrigue of how the great God of creation is able to turn what the enemy has sown for bad and destruction to beautiful stories of great turn arounds.

I always look at non-favorable situations as events that will pave the way to joyful eventualities. Joseph finds himself in a strange land because of his brothers hate of him, only to find favor in the eyes of the pharaoh of the land. However, that favor is lost when Pharaoh’s wife tells a lie on him and he is thrown into prison.

The tide again turns for Joseph and he finds favor in the eyes of the prison chief and is placed in authority of all the inmates. Among the inmates are the chief butler and chief baker of pharaoh. Joseph, a man blessed with the spirit of discernment, one morning, senses that all is not well with both the butler and baker as their countenances showed. When he asked why were they looking so sad, both shared of their concern of the dreams the night before. After telling Joseph of their dreams, Joseph’s interpretation was that the butler would be called back to his position but the baker would be beheaded all within three days. When this happened, Joseph told the butler to put in a word of favor to pharaoh for him so that he would be released from prison, but like many human frailties, either by choice or ill will, such requests fade with time.

Time moves on and pharaoh is troubled in the morning after a night of two dreams in similarity. The first is of seven fat cows coming out of the river and eaten by seven very lean cows, but there was no evidence that they had even had a morsel of food. The second dream is of seven heads of grain, full and ripe, were growing on one stalk, then seven other heads of grain sprouted, thin and scorched by the desert wind, and the thin heads of grain swallowed the full ones and likewise there was no change in size.

The king awoke from his dreams and called for his magicians to interpret these troubling and concerning dreams but they were not able to do as requested. It was only then that an appropriate time and “call to remembrance” came to the butler and he shared of his Joseph experience in prison with pharaoh.

Joseph was sent for, interpreted the dreams of seven years of plenty followed by seven years of severe famine. Pharaoh thanked Joseph and placed him in charge of the corn operation and second in command to him. So said so done; and as our text tells, there was severe famine not only in one place, but all places.

All places included Joseph’s homeland and his father sent the brothers, save Benjamin to Egypt to buy corn. The story is familiar and the brothers soon found that their brother Joseph whom they hated with a passion is now the czar of the barn with the corn.

In 1982, during my maiden speech on the budget as a senator, I asked who are these people called Bahamians? I further asked if they were Mozarts, Christopher Wrens, Rembrandts or Pasteurs to which I said neither, but because of the divine structure of these God-given islands, we are people of the sea and soil and have the capacity to grow sufficient food to feed the world. I further stated that The Bahamas is the “Joseph barn” of the world.

It is now that because of the looming gloomy state of affairs globally as it concerns food shortage, that providentially The Bahamas has the potential to grow what Jehovah God has placed in other lands for the good of its people to be planted and grown here in abundance. Agriculture and the reparation of these islands has been strategically positioned as our gift from God.

We were taken from the wealth of our mother land, but our wealth has followed us in these pristine blue waters and various types of soil. As my late father said in his sermon on Independence Day “All other ground is sinking sand.” There will never be a famine where the barn is located.

• E-mail or Write to P.O. Box, 19725 SS Nassau, Bahamas, with your prayer requests, concerns and comments. God’s blessings.  

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